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TO THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS.
THE Galatians were descendants of the ancient Gauls, who leaving their native country, now France, wandered into Asia Minor, and established themselves in a part of the country, which from them, was called Gallo-græcia, or Galatia.
These Gauls having little intercourse with their neighbours, long continued a rude and illiterate people; yet they wanted neither inclination nor capacity to receive instruction; for when St. Paul came among them, they listened with rapture to his preaching, & soon formed themselves into a number of churches.
Not long after the Galatians had embraced the Gospel, certain false teachers from Judea, zealous for the Mosaic institutions, came among them; and to discredit Paul, and counteraet his influence, represented him as inferior to the other apostles; as their disciple, but differing from them in doctrine; and although they acknowledged Jesus Christ and his religion, they insisted, that circumcision and observance of the ritual law were still necessary to salvation, and that the three great apostles Peter, James, and John had taught those doctrines. Perceiving therefore how great an obstacle these impositions would be to the conversion of the Gentiles, Paul in this Epistle, which is supposed to have been written about A. D. 53, strenuously vindicates the liberty of the Gospel, that is, its freedom from Jewish rites; and shews, that in point of authority he was in no respect inferior to other apostles; he also treats of justification by faith, of the temporary use and of the abolition of the Mosaic law; and shews that faith in Christ alone, without the Jewish ceremonies, is sufficient to obtain everlasting life; and finally he exhorts the Galatians to persevere in their Christian liberty, but to use it rightly; and not either by licentiousness, or superstition, neglect the important duties of Christianity.
¶ THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS. CHAP. 1.
6 He wondereth that they have so soon left him and the Gospel, 11 which he learned not of men, but of God.
by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead,)
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the church
PAUL, an apostle, (not of es of Galatia;
men, neither by man, but
3 Grace be to you, and
peace, from God the Father, & from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
5 To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
6 I marvel, that ye are so soon removed from him, that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another Gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you,a and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other Gospel unto you, than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I-yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel, which was preached of me, is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.b
a There be some that trouble you. Paul here alludes to the numerous Jews, who traversed the countries, where the Gospel had been preached, and taught that the rites and ceremonies of the law of Moses were necessary to salvation. This ceremonial law is what Paul means by another Gospel, or rather no Gospel.
13 For ye have heard of my conversationc in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted he church of God, and wasted
14 And profited in the Jews' religion, above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately Ĭ conferred d not with flesh and blood:
17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia,and returned again unto Damascus.
18 Then, after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.
19 But other of the apostles
b By the revelation, &c. The false teachers had endeavoured to lessen Paul's authority with the Galatians by teaching, that he was not an apostle of Jesus Christ; but that he had been intrusted only by the other apostles, and that he had even departed from their doctrine.
c Conversation, conduct or behaviour.
d Conferred, consulted,
b But neither, &c. However, not even Titus, although a Greek, &c.
c Our liberty, our freedom from the burthensome and painful rites of
d Into bondage, under the ceremonies of the law.
nicated nothing, no part of the Gos e In conference added, &c. commupel, neither knowledge, spiritual gifts, nor authority.
e Save, except.
* In the four first verses of this chapter Paul tells the Galatians that his was the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, which his enemies denied, and that it did not require Gentiles to observe the rites of the Jewish law; and as evidence of it, he says, that the apostles at Jerusalem did not disapprove of it, nor did they compel Titus, who was a Gentile convert, to be circumcised, notwithstanding the presence of false brethren, who were zealous for the support of the Jewish rites.
the Gospel, &c.
they saw, that the Gospel of the uncircumcision f was committed unto me, as the Gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;g
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles ;)
9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Chap. ii. Justification by faith. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor: the same which I also was forward to do.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly, according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,h
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is, therefore, Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.i
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
b By the hearing, by the obedience of faith.
5 He, therefore, that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was account. ed to him for righteousness.c
7 Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
s And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying,d In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then, they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written,e Cursed is every one, that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law, to do them.
11 But that no man is jus tified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for, The just shall life by faith.f